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About

UFCW 1518 has been a part of the retail industry for more than 100 years. We are experts in representing the diverse folks that keep our communities fed and stocked up. 

As an affiliate member of UFCW Canada and UFCW International, we are part of a movement 1.3 million members strong that represents workers in small businesses, large companies, and everything in between.

Our retail members enjoy higher wages, better health & safety standards, and more respect at work. We negotiate industry-leading contracts together with engaged workers who stand up for what they believe in. 

But we’re not done fighting for fairness for retail workers. We are always ready to stand at your side and help you get the respect you deserve at work. Learn more about the benefits of joining a union and becoming a part of the UFCW 1518 retail division below.

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I’ve worked in retail for 11 years. I enjoy what I do, but I would not have stayed if it were not for the opportunities being a union member has provided. I’m proud to be part of a moment that helps build wages, benefits, and dignity for my co-workers and myself.


Stefan Nielsen, Safeway Shop Steward

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I love being a union member. It provides me with the security and voice to fight for issues in my workplace and stand with thousands of others who are fighting for theirs.


Kelly Malcolmson, Save-On-Foods Shop Steward

Objectives

Fair wages

Retail workers deserve fair pay for their hard work. We will help you to negotiate higher wages, better perks, and regularly scheduled raises so you can take home more.

Benefits

There’s more to work than just a paycheque. We fight alongside our members for health and dental benefits, paid breaks, safety shoe reimbursement, paid training, and more.

Job security

You deserve a stable job so you can plan for your future. Union members have protection against unjust discipline and arbitrary firings. We will stand up for your seniority rights, so your years of dedication are recognized.

Scheduling

You can’t plan ahead unless you know when you’re working. We can help negotiate a regular work schedule that is posted several weeks ahead. We will also fight for adequate breaks between shifts so you can get the rest you need.

Health & Safety

Nothing is more important than your health. Union workplaces are safer workplaces because members, health & safety reps, and union staff work together to make them that way. It’s strength in numbers.

Education & Training

All UFCW 1518 members have access to our Education Month training sessions and WebCampus courses. We offer many scholarships to members and their dependents. We can also negotiate employer-paid training like First Aid.

Myth

Management will know if I signed a union card or voted to join the union.

Fact

Management will never know who signed cards or how you voted – the process is 100% confidential. We will never tolerate retaliation against workers who are in favour of unionizing.

Myth

Union dues are expensive.

Fact

Union dues are no more than 2% of your wages and are 100% tax-deductible. You won’t pay one cent until you vote in your first collective agreement. No benefits, no dues.

Myth

I won’t be able to speak directly with management if we join a union.

Fact

This is not true. The union only steps in when a worker requests help. Union workers have a stronger voice and more respect, ensuring that their concerns are heard.

Myth

Unions just protect lazy workers
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Fact

There are no union contracts requiring an employer to keep lazy or incompetent workers. We protect workers against unjust dismissals and arbitrary discipline.

Myth

If we vote to join the union, I’ll lose the benefits that I have now.

Fact

The union will always fight to keep what you have and add the things that you care about. You will be able to negotiate for more!

Myth

Joining a union will make our work schedules less flexible.

Fact

Scheduling does not have to change if you don’t want it to. We can help negotiate a flexible schedule into a legally binding contract that will not change with new management or owners.

Myth

If we vote to join the union, we will go on strike.

Fact

Strikes are very rare. You have control over strikes through a vote – a majority of your co-workers must be in favour to launch a strike. If that happens, we will provide you with strike pay.

Myth

The company will shut down if we unionize and I’ll lose my job.

Fact

It is illegal to close a workplace because the employees decide to join a union. No successful business will shut down because the workers decide to organize.

News

View all posts
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Statement on UFCW 1518 Labour Dispute

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Workers’ Rights In B.C

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New Contract at Sointula Co-Op!

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BC & Yukon To Engage the Public on Truth & Reconciliation Day

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First Private-Sector Cannabis Retail Workers on Mainland Unionize

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More Vancouver Native Housing Staff Join UFCW 1518

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From Big-Box to Boutique — All Workers Need Unions!

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UFCW 1518 Launches New Tool for Reporting Unsafe Work

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Statement from President Kim Novak on Protecting Workers from Violence and Harassment

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FAQ

How will a union make my job better?

Union members have the power of collective bargaining. Rather than negotiating with the employer on your own, you will have the power of the union and your co-workers behind you. Bargaining proposals around wages, benefits, scheduling, and other issues come from the membership, who decide what they will fight for together with the help of union staff.

Once you have voted in your first contract, your union helps to enforce that agreement. We will help you set up a Joint Labour-Management committee so you will have a say in how your workplace is run. We will train your Shop Stewards and Health and Safety Committee Members to solve problems in the workplace and prevent them from escalating. If necessary, we will engage our legal team to protect the integrity of your collective agreement and ensure your employer is following all labour laws.

I’m happy with the way things are now. Why do I need a union?

Securing what you have today into a legally binding contract ensures that what you like about your job stays that way even if there is a change of management and even ownership. Belonging to a union also creates a support network: stewards, union representatives, negotiators and lawyers will be there to ensure you get fair treatment at work.

How do I join a union?

Every British Columbian has the right to join a union. The unionizing process is designed by the government to be 100% confidential. 

Here’s what you need to do to join UFCW 1518:

1) Connect with Us Confidentially
Use our contact form or call us at 1-888-581-1518.

We will get back to you as soon as possible to answer your questions about joining a union.

Know that once you start the process of unionizing, your job is protected by the BC Labour Relations Board.

2) Sign Union Support Cards
Working with staff from our union, you and the majority of your co-workers (45%) sign a support card indicating you would like the BC Labour Relations Board to hold a unionization vote at your workplace.

This process is confidential. Your employer will never have the right to know who did or did not sign. Your employer cannot legally take action against anyone for signing a card.

3) Secret Ballot Vote
When a majority of your co-workers have signed a union card, the BC Labour Relations Board will hold a secret ballot vote to form a union at your workplace.

Vote “Yes” to join the union!